My husband (Mark) and I have been married for 23 years. We have seven children—all biological—four boys and three girls. Whenever people see us altogether, their responses are often:

Are they all yours?

Do you know what causes that?

More often, though, people give us admiring smiles and remark on how blessed we are to have a large family.

Mark and I began our lives together in a whirlwind—met, engaged and married in six short weeks. We didn’t plan on having children so soon after marriage, but with my coming off the Pill due to unacceptable side effects and naively thinking I would be infertile for three months, we were in for a wonderful surprise four months into our married lives.

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It took four years and several months after the first child was born before my husband agreed to another one. I was ready when the first one was two, but he wasn’t. We could never pin down the right amount of children to have. After the third one was born, and feeling unsettled with relying on our own wisdom regarding our fertility, we decided to let God plan our family.

“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”

~ Psalms 128:3

After the sixth child (really the seventh) came along after an ectopic pregnancy, we started to feel like God had filled our house and the yearning for yet another child left us. But God had other plans and a few years later our last sweetie was conceived through a fit of clouded passion.

It has been eight years since the birth our last child and every now and then, Mark and I question whether we should have more children. But as God is bringing us into a new season—married son, teens driving and dating and aging parents—we’ve decided to leave any further baby-making for the next generation of Davises.

Children are a wonderful blessing to a marriage, enriching and growing the union in too many ways to imagine. I know I’m a better person for having my seven in my life and I thank God for each and every one of them—they are much prayed for and prayed over. When it comes to planning a family, I urge married couples to invite God into the decision-making process and see what He has in mind. I promise you’ll blessed with no regrets!

Now plant those olives!

Charmaine 2Charmaine Davis writes black woman white man romance, family comedy, middle-grade fiction, speculative fiction, issues dealing with the Christian life and devotionals. Getting Riley, The Red House: Almost a Memoir and Falling are among her published titles. She lives with her husband and children in Virginia.

To find out more about Charmaine, please visit her blog, Charmaine T. Davis